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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

The Met Presents Verdi's Epic Masterpiece 'Don Carlo'

1 DON CARLO Alagna Furlanetto Keenlyside and Poplavskya_met opera.jpg
Ken Howard
Metropolitan Opera

Giuseppi Verdi's "Don Carlo" was a Behemoth, a lumbering monster. It featured variant openings, duets and trios and choruses to burn, ballet music that now only exists as a separate concert work, and most importantly, a great psychological/musical narrative frame -- the reason for all the elaboration and development.

What most of us know begins in a tomb in Spain and builds out an old and new subtext of European history, the battle of reactionary politics and the spirit of the Reformation. This background weaves this ideological struggle into a love story of great power.

The reason for the opera's growing fame was that the passion and power of the essential human drama shone through:

Hypocrisy, jealousy, reaction and revolutions of thought, the inevitable wars of generations, court intrigue, threats of murder and blackmail, the human condition and music of breathtaking scale and inspiration. It is the longest and most ambitious music that Verdi would ever write.

The Met's production features Ramón Vargas in the title role; Vargas is joined by Barbara Frittoli, Anna Smirnova, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson.

Tune in to KPAC or KTXI this Saturday at noon to hear the Metropolitan Opera's production of the Verdi epic set in the Spanish Inquisition, "Don Carlo."